Monday, November 28, 2016

Lobby Watch: Warren's Pipeline Giant Inflated Pols with $2.7 million

The gas pipeline giant sparking protests in the Dakotas and West Texas gave $2.7 million to Texas state politicians in recent years, while spending $1.7 million on Texas lobbyists.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Railroad Commissioners Awash in Oil & Gas Money

Texas’ three sitting Railroad Commissioners raised more than $11 million in recent years, taking 60 percent of it from the oil and gas industry that they’re elected to regulate, a new study by Texans for Public Justice, Public Citizen and the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter finds.

The report, “Rigged: How the Texas Oil and Gas Industry Bankrolls Its Own Regulators,” analyzes campaign contributions to the incumbent commissioners and to the four candidates who faced off to replace retiring Commissioner David Porter. Wayne Christian, who prevailed in Tuesday's election took 65 percent of his campaign money from the industry he will regulate. 

Read the full media release here.
Read the report:

Rigged: How the Texas Oil and Gas Industry Bankrolls Its Own Regulators.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Texas Treasure, 'Smitty' to Mosey Down Happy Trails.

Lobbyist for the Small Fry Hangs It Up.  By Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune.

Tom “Smitty” Smith, a colorful lobbyist and liberal activist who turned Public Citizen Texas into a strong voice on environmental, utility, consumer and ethics issues, is hanging up his spurs after 31 years. “The thing that I learned time after time, story after story, is that people standing up does make a difference,” he says.
Read the full story at the Texas Tribune.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NY Times: Success of the Voter Fraud Myth

How does a lie come to be widely taken as the truth?

The answer is disturbingly simple: Repeat it over and over again. When faced with facts that contradict the lie, repeat it louder.

This, in a nutshell, is the story of claims of voting fraud in America — and particularly of voter impersonation fraud, the only kind that voter ID laws can possibly prevent.

Read the full editorial at the New York Times.
                                                                                                             (Emiliano Ponzi)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Paxton In Federal Court as Legal Woes Persist

Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will argue Friday morning in a Sherman courtroom that the federal civil fraud case against him should be dismissed, their latest effort to unwind the legal troubles that have dogged Paxton for more than a year.

Read the full story at Texas Tribune.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Paxton Took Cash From Company Under Investigation

From Paul Weber of the Associated Press:
Texas Attorney General Took Gift While Investigating Company.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ross Ramsey: The Long and Winding Road to the Texas Ethics Commission

An analysis by Texas Tribune editor Ross Ramsey.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Paxton Uses "Gift Loophole" to Pay His Defense Team

Ken Paxton is using a loophole in the state anti-bribery laws to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay his criminal defense lawyers.

Read details from the Texas Tribune

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Paxton Criminal Appeal Rejected

The Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals refused to toss the three felony-fraud indictments hanging over the head of Attorney General Ken Paxton.  The June 1 ruling was authored by Chief Justice Carolyn Wright.  Paxton's spokesperson said they are considering an appeal of the ruling before the state's highest criminal court.  Along with the state charges Paxton also faces federal fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The 5th Court of Appeals ruling is linked here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

TPJ Statement on Paxton Appeal Hearing

Statement of Andrew Wheat, TPJ Research Director:

"In asking Republican appeals judges to dismiss his criminal charges without a trial, Paxton invokes those recent precedents of Republican appellate judges dismissing corruption cases against their party’s leaders.  Let's hope these judges can exercise some judicial restraint and allow these felony charges to be tried in an open court."